Background Compton Care’s clinical strategy (2022 – 2025) identifies the need for responsive services to prevent crisis escalation, avoid hospital admissions and to support hospital discharges. Our community Rapid Response service leads on individualised specialist end of life care for those patients in the last days to weeks of life. We work collaboratively with hospital specialist palliative care and community-based teams supporting patients in their own homes ensuring holistic, person-centred care is delivered, symptoms are managed, and families supported 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The national virtual ward model allows for patients to remain in the place they call home supported virtually through technology, to be appropriately stepped up or down to an appropriate healthcare setting. We have recognised that our red and amber Gold Standards Framework (GSF) patients need a more hands-on approach in a crisis. Our high intensity virtual ward was launched in April 2023.
Methods We retrospectively scrutinised the first month’s data to evaluate the development of this service.
Results The initial data from April has been analysed. 52 patients were admitted. 45 admissions to hospital were successfully averted appropriately following input from our Rapid Response team. Three patients had appropriate step up to hospital in line with their ReSPECT plan. Four patients were admitted to the hospice to achieve their desired preferred place of care and death (PPC/D) and a further 10 patients were supported to die in their PPD. At the time of presentation we will have more data.
Conclusions Initial data demonstrates that this high intensity virtual ward model has successfully averted unnecessary hospital escalation and facilitated early discharge through timely collaborative intervention at a time of crisis and has resulted in more patients being managed appropriately in their PPC/D. This further reduces pressures on acute services.
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